Olivia police officer on administrative leave after being charged with felony harassment in Scott County
Rebecca Anne Pieper, 40, of Louisville Township, has been a full-time police officer for the Olivia Police Department since July 6, 2021. She is accused of sending obscene packages to people involved in a child custody case.
SHAKOPEE — An Olivia Police Department officer has been charged with a felony for allegedly impersonating a man and sending obscene packages in 2020 to the man's lawyer and to a judge who was presiding over a child custody case between the two.
Rebecca Anne Pieper, 40, of Louisville Township, appeared Oct. 22 in Scott County District Court , charged with felony harassment by false impersonation.
A complaint summons was filed Sept. 22, 2021.
District Judge Karen Duncan ordered Pieper released Oct. 22 on $3,000 bail or bond with conditions or release on her own recognizance provided she complete booking, remain law-abiding and have no contact with the alleged victim with the exception of certain family events or emergencies.
According to an administrator at the Scott County Jail, Pieper has not been booked in their facility.
Pieper has been working full-time with the Olivia Police Department since July 6, 2021. She previously had worked on the department's on-call and part-time roster since June 2020.
In 2017 she was also employed as an officer by the Danube Police Department , according to information Pieper provided in an April 2017 petition for an order of protection that she filed against the same man she is now accused of impersonating. Pieper described him as an ex-boyfriend in the petition.
That petition was denied in May 2017 following a hearing.
The Danube Police Department did not immediately return a call asking for more information about her employment with the department.
According to Olivia City Administrator Dan Coughlin, Pieper has been on paid administrative leave from her job there since Oct. 14. Her leave status is not currently classified as disciplinary leave, according to Coughlin.
Coughlin said he cannot provide the reason Pieper is on leave as that information is classified by Minnesota statute as private personnel data.
Though Pieper is charged in Scott County, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office is handling the case, according to Scott County Attorney's Office Criminal Division Head Debra Lund.
According to Ramsey County Public Information Officer Dennis Gerhardstein, the case was sent to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office because the judge who received one of the packages is chambered in Scott County, which represents a conflict for the Scott County Attorney's Office.
Pieper's next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 30.
A summons for Pieper to appear in Dakota County District Court was filed Nov. 2. The pending charges there include harassment with intent to abuse repeatedly by mail and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. According to the complaint in that case, the charges are related to the same incidents for which she is charged in Scott County.
As of Friday afternoon, there is no hearing set for the Dakota County case.
According to the Scott County criminal complaint:
On Jan. 27, 2020, a First Judicial District Court judge, who was presiding over a child custody case involving Pieper and the man, received an anonymous package at her home. When the judge opened the box, she saw the words "Eat A D---" printed inside and "a large chocolate item molded in the shape of male genitalia."
The man's attorney also received a similar anonymous package around the same time.
On Jan. 31, 2020, the judge received a letter that read "I am asking that you take a major step in my case, impose action, and you will get $5,000.00 cash."
The letter was signed in the man's name in typed characters.
The judge reported both packages to law enforcement and told them it would be odd for the man to bribe her since her last ruling was in his favor. She also mentioned that Pieper had previously been accused of forging the man's name.
The man and his attorney had recently asked for a change in custody, and the judge had ruled there would be a hearing on the matter.
A fingerprint analysis of the letter by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found a match to Pieper's left thumbprint.
A search warrant of Pieper's credit card turned up two January purchases from two different websites that offer sexually-oriented gag gifts. An investigator went on both sites and confirmed the prices were a match for the two packages.
Both websites used the same third-party company for shipping, the company from which both the judge and the man's lawyer received packages.
Investigators later discovered that Pieper's sister's ex-boyfriend received an envelope with some pills and a letter that said "I have a business deal for you, 100.00 each but 1 sample and the cash in the fuel door of my truck for more."
That letter was also "signed" by the man with whom Pieper was in the custody dispute.
Investigators found several similarities between that envelope and the ones sent previously.
The sister's ex-boyfriend also told law enforcement that Pieper had approached him and asked if he knew anyone to set up or "frame" the man.
Pieper declined to be interviewed by police.